Over 400 attended the sold-out fourth annual Grande Dames Tea presented by White House Black Market on March 20, 2012 at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. Gathered to honor some of our community’s most revered women, Michel Doherty, Mavis Stinson Miller and Anna “Boots” Tolles, guests enjoyed tea and delights as the Dames shared their experiences and advice to teens currently enrolled in PACE Center for Girls of Lee County.

 

Under the leadership of co-chairs Dena Geraghty and Sandy Stilwell and Mistress of Ceremonies Mei-Mei Chan, president and publisher of The News-Press Media Group, the event raised over $62,000. Of the total, $27,350 will support PACE’s capital campaign for a new school to better serve the growing and complex needs of the PACE girls.

 

Wayne Miller, spouse of honoree Mavis Miller, announced a $20,000 contribution to fulfill the $250,000 challenge gift pledged last year from the Kleist Family Foundation. “It was a spectacular moment,” recalled Geraghty, “The entire afternoon was filled with camaraderie, poignant wisdom and genuine consideration for the mission of PACE.”

 

Prior to the interaction between the PACE girls and the three Grande Dames, in a question and answer format, the event also featured a heartfelt musical serenade by Andrea Prather and a silent auction of still life artwork of tea pots from renowned artists including Wellington Ward, Carl Schwartz, Honey Costa, Cheryl Fausel, Celeste Borah, Ellen Sheppard and Doug MacGregor.

 

Additional Grande Dames Tea sponsors included Edison National Bank, John E. & Aliese Price Foundation, The News-Press Media Group andGrandeur Magazine, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, Sunshine Grille, Norman Love Confections, Caloosa Tent & Rental, Hodges University, Florida Virtual School, Ruth Messmer Florist, Cement Industries, Sharon Thompson and The Daniel R. & Anne M. Harper Foundation, Mark Loren Designs, Susan Bennett Marketing & Media, L.C., NBC-2, Allegra Print & Imaging and Matter Brothers Furniture.

PACE Center for Girls is a non-residential juvenile delinquency prevention and intervention program targeting the unique needs of girls, ages 12 to 18, facing challenges such as physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, foster care, neglect, death of a parent, family history of incarceration and declining grades. PACE Lee is funded by the Department of Juvenile Justice, The School District of Lee County, Lee County Human Services, United Way of Lee County, grants and corporate and private donations. To learn more, visit www.pacecenter.org/lee or call 239-425-2366.